Monday, February 15, 2010

Aunt Edna's Funeral

This may sound bizarre, but I love two things--no, three--about funerals.

First, I love learning things about the departed that I didn't know. I learned things about my father (imagine folks having a life before we came along!) at his funeral, and on Saturday I learned new things about Aunt Edna. I didn't know that she'd been Staple's National Secretary of the year! (She won the title and a trip to NYC at age 72.)

I learned that she and I are a lot alike--we both like writing, we both are hyper-organized, and we both like to plan things. Edna organized a reunion for her high school graduating class (of '42) EVERY year. She was a member of a group dedicated to preserving the history of her town, Winter Haven. I learned that Edna had preplanned her funeral, bought her casket, purchased her plot and picked out all the music. In fact, soon before her passing, she went out to the cemetery to check out her plot and discovered that a race car driver had been buried next to her spot! Apparently there was a big race car on his grave, and Aunt Edna didn't want to rest next to THAT. So she had the funeral home switch her spot out. Someone else will get to enjoy the race car for a while.

Second, I love seeing family members that I don't get to see very often. When we gathered around for the potluck dinner (kindly provided by Aunt Edna's church ladies), it felt like Thanksgiving. And even though we shed a few tears, Edna's service was quite the celebration of her salvation and sure place in heaven.

And third, I love the celebration of home going. Even though we weep because we will miss the departed, we are sure and certain that Jesus Christ has prepared a place for those who trust in him. And I was thrilled to hear that though Aunt Edna had cancer "all through her," even in her bones, she experienced NO PAIN and wasn't even taking pain pills. On Wednesday, she simply lay down for a nap and slipped away. How glorious is that?

Here's part of Aunt Edna's official obituary: She also graduated from Polk Community College where she obtained National Certified Professional Secretary (CBS) rating. She was a charter member of PCC Alumni Association. Ms. Scarborough was employed in the secretarial/accounting/legal field for over 50 years, and she served on the Advisory Council for Clerical Occupations for 20 years at Ridge Technical Center. She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Winter Haven. She was also an officer in the Senior Adult Department, and member of the American Legion Auxiliary #8, and past Presidents Parley. She was a member of the Winter Haven Historical Society. In 1996, she was Staple's National Secretary of the Year. She was affectionately known as "Garber" to her family.

As an added plus, after the graveside service, my uncle and I went searching through that cemetery because I have lots of relatives buried there. I found my paternal grandmother, another aunt, a cousin who was stillborn . . . and I know there are several others. I took snapshots of their tombstones just to affix those spots in my memory. One day those graves will open, and my family will have the best reunion . . . :-)



Mocha with Linda said...

Oh, I just love this post.

I share some of your same sentiments about funerals! And it stirs my faith to see what a shell our body really is!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear about your joyful reunion. And thanks for using your loss and your experience, Angie, to remind us to focus on eternity and not the temporal, the Life-giver, not this life.

Bless you sister,
Mary Kay